I know some people don’t think it’s necessary to protect yourself while you’re giving (or sometimes when receiving) a reading, which could include tarot or oracle readings, intuitive readings, and hypnosis. I, on the other hand, disagree. I think it’s important for the reader, at the very least, to protect herself. It may not be quite as important for the person being read to protect themselves, especially during something like an intuitive or hypnotic reading in which it’s better for them to be more open. Still, there are some precautions that I think every person going into a reading should take, whether they are the reader or the person being read.
It’s very easy for us all to pick up energy and emotions from other people and carry them around unless we take precautions to avoid such things. All of us do this, even if we aren’t psychically open or empathic. It happens naturally. But do you really want to carry around someone else’s depression over having a bad day, or sadness at breaking up with their partner, or even their happiness over something you had no part in? No one should really want to carry around someone else’s energy, which is why so many different traditions stress cleansing yourself and being aware of your aura and what you give or take with other people. As a reader, you are then opening yourself up, not only to the other person but to the higher planes. It’s not the higher planes that you need to be worried about, but if you’re just opening things up willy-nilly and not paying much attention to protection, you can come away from a reading feeling pretty drained and bad, or you could have inadvertently opened up to something else (unlikely, but possible) such as the lower planes.
During my hypnosis training, it was emphasized that as we put a client into hypnosis (and this really only applies to the spiritual hypnosis, because that’s where you have the potential to interact with lower planes and such while doing past life regression or entity clearing) we should also raise protections and call on the archangels or higher forces for protection during the hypnosis. This is because the person’s defenses are lowered while under hypnosis, and they are in no state to protect themselves. The reader has to do it for them, not only to protect the client, but to protect the reader! I don’t want some entity latching on to me because I didn’t protect myself. Granted, if it does that, then I didn’t do my job correctly, but still.
Even during a tarot reading or oracle card reading, I think it’s important to protect yourself. Raise shields, if you’re good at that, or use stones or oils or whatever else that works for you. Just protect yourself from absorbing some of the other person’s energy, or from being too open for other beings to get in. It also works to keep yourself from being too drained. A few times when I’ve done readings (not including the events with PSU, at which I read tarot for hours without a break—not highly recommended), I’ve felt so drained afterward, or I’ve felt like I was angry or sad when I didn’t need to be. It was odd to me until I figured out that I wasn’t really doing very much to protect myself while giving these readings, and that made me feel that I was doing a disservice not only to myself, but to my client as well.
As for when you are the one being read, I think it doesn’t hurt any to create a shield or protect yourself in some way. If it’s someone you trust, I wouldn’t erect a shield that would keep the reader out, but create something that would protect from any negative energy or negative beings that might be attracted. The best form of protection I’ve found yet is to create a shield and then ask higher beings, such as your spirit guide or angels or whatever you like to come protect you, and specify that the only things that can influence you during the reading are the higher forces (and, in the case of hypnosis, the reader/hypnotist).